California Reps. Hilda L. Solis and David Dreier recently secured $2 million from the Department of Defense to continue funding for the Advanced Molecular Medicine Initiative (AMMI). The initiative supports research at City of Hope that focuses on developing more effective and less toxic cancer therapies.
“I commend Congresswoman Solis and Congressman Dreier for their exemplary bipartisan leadership to allow City of Hope to continue our partnership with the Department of the Navy,” said Richard Jove, Ph.D., Beckman Research Institute director. “In addition to improving treatment of members of both Department of Defense and civilian populations, this research will also develop expertise and technologies applicable to biological, radiation and chemical counter-terrorism response.”
|Richard Jove uses Department of Defense research funding to seek better cancer therapies. (Photo by Paula Myers)|
The fiscal year 2009 funding supports the AMMI’s longterm vision to develop personalized cancer therapy. This growing movement seeks “molecular signatures” — data from patients’ own tumors that can identify the most appropriate molecular targets for cancer-fighting drugs.
Over the coming months, Department of Navy staff will work with Jove to identify and fund certain City of Hope research programs under the AMMI. Through funding in the 2007 fiscal year, the AMMI began studies to screen chemical libraries for radiation sensitizers through the High Throughput Screening core at City of Hope.
The AMMI comprises several research paths, including human genetics and molecular epidemiology, non-hereditary genetic changes leading to disease, gene therapy of cancer, molecular pharmacology and drug resistance, control of gene expression and cell differentiation, and the study of enzymes involved in DNA replication and repair.
The initiative aims to understand the molecular basis of disease and identify and validate targets for innovative therapies. It also seeks to define how drugs interact with those targets and how they may prevent or cure disease, as well as providing a framework for researchers trying to understand why some patients respond to therapies and others do not.
“This partnership with the Navy is a win all around for the Department of Defense, City of Hope and the citizens of California, as well as the entire nation,” Jove said.